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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gothic Doom Masterpiece, 19 Oct 2012
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Ok so it is a bit early to be writing a review of this album after just a couple of play throughs but I just felt I had to. I enjoy MDB and have done for a number of years, but some albums are better than others, and from what I have read of other reviews of MDB album's I think that's an opinion that a lot of people share, although they disagree on which albums are best (it is after all a matter of taste, my personal favourites were Songs of Darkness Words of Light and The Light at the End of the World).

For me, I think this could be their best album yet. They have this time got everything spot on for me. What you get is a 5 minute track and 7 8-9 minute tracks which are beautifully crafted, dripping with creativity and storytelling. Excellently crafted music, well blended use of guitars, keys, violin which are mixed and produced exceptionally well (the sound has in the past been a little raw for my taste on occasions, this is just right). Great storytelling in the lyrics and Aaron's vocals are at their very best.

They have thrown everything into this album and it shows. It's familiar yet creative, stark yet beautiful, polished yet transparent and open. For me it's everything they do right done better.

Buy it, sit back with a beer and your headphones on and while away an hour letting this masterpiece wash over you. Don't be surprised if by the end of it you have a new favourite My Dying Bride album.

Finally for those of you not familiar with this band... they have been described as Doom Metal, Gothic Metal and various other tags but for me they write the some of the finest bitter sweet melancholy rock music you will ever hear, and they have a distinctive sound all of their own to my ears.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Dying Bride - A Map of All Our Failures, 17 Oct 2012
By 
Johan Klovsjö (Göteborg, Sweden) - See all my reviews
Fans of My Dying Bride will feel right at home with this album, it has everything you expect and want from the masters of Doom Metal. Powerful guitar and drum combos as well as lamenting violins. The vocals are mostly Aaron Stainthorpe's classic half-spoken words, but there are some death growls too.

If you have heard the opening track "Kneel Till Doomsday" online already, it will give you a pretty accurate taste of the whole record. Compared to previous (at least more recent) albums from the band, there are parts that seem more raw and brutal here, not unlike the EP "The Barghest O Whitby" (2011). So I'd call the sound a more beastly version of "For Lies I sire" (2009), the latest full length.

The tracks that stand out are "Kneel Till Doomsday", "The Poorest Waltz", and "Hail Odysseus". I found parts of a couple of the other songs somewhat too slow and uneventful, but they grow on you after hearing them a few more times. And mostly they turn into something really interesting after a while. There are definitely some cool new melodies and sounds in these songs. But like I stated from the start, it's very familiar as MDB.

4/5
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Failure is a great success., 24 Oct 2012
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It is because of bands like My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, Candlemass etc that I got into metal, the Gothic & Doom variety back in the mid 90's. My Dying Bride are not easy listening but do they know how to tell a story, paint an audio landscape and sear the heart with the melancholy of lost and abandoned love and hope. A Map Of All Our Failures does not disappoint on that score. Musically this album has a coarse edge, maybe not as polished as Lies but that does not diminish the album. There are some lovely moments of violin to layer the atmosphere and the keyboards are used to good effect. Lyrically the album is as strong as ever and the scene set by A Tapestry Scorned is up there with their best.
I must admit that I was a bit under whelmed by The Barghest O'Whitby but this album more than sets that to right. It is down to the overall strength of the album that I will refrain from naming favourite tracks; the album is a complete work and must be enjoyed as such.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I've been cold for so long, 20 Oct 2012
Doom metal is something of an acquired taste. The slowest, darkest and most gloomy form of metal is not for everyone. But for those who do enjoy the odd foray into the world of doomed lovers, despair and slow death, My Dying Bride are the undisputed kings of the genre. In fact, they are one of the very few bands who are not only sticking to the 20-odd year old doom recipe, but consistently producing the highest possible quality.

True, it's been years since their classic masterpieces were released, but they've come full circle and come back to their classic English doom roots. No gimmicks, no respite, just an hour of solid darkness and perfectly-formed melancholy.

My Dying Bride are not a band to pick up for a few minutes listening, a casual thing to pop on your ipod on the train. Sit back, dim the lights, get a glass of red wine and sink into another world of bleak poetry. A world in which star-crossed lovers follow each other to the grave, sirens lure men to watery graves, beautiful temptresses betray unwitting suitors and the bereaved waste away accompanied only by memories.

Aaron's narration is the same as ever. Only the merest hints of proper death growls break up the half-sung half-spoken narrative, as he speaks reams of grim poetry to the slowest and darkest music you can imagine. As usual with MDB, the majority of the album is hard going - sludge slow riffs, almost tediously slow drumming and Aaron's morose drone. In all honesty, I listen to MDB for the moments when they surprise you with a dual violin-guitar harmony, break into vicious death growls just for a moment, or bring out an utterly genius riff before burying it again in another 5 minutes of slow formulaic grind.

This is typical My Dying Bride. It's the worst of their early works mingled with the creative flashes that make them worthwhile. Embrace the doom and gloom and let them take you on a journey to the depths of human emotion. They're not your everyday band, and this is not the kind of album you can get into without an open mind and a willingness to explore some dark and melancholic themes and emotions.

'Kneel til Doomsday' is the highlight track, carrying you via grim sludge riffs through wailing despair to a truly brilliant violin-led death metal breakdown. It's been a long journey for MDB. They've lost their youthful passion and violence, but they've gained a mature and polished sound, with an ability to weave the music together which they did not have in their early days. The way the violins, guitars and vocals work together in harmony in Kneel til Doomsday is something they've only just begun to manage to do, and it's devastatingly effective.

The title track is also another classic gem though. Slow, but with cleaner guitars and a little more melody. This is a more typical later MDB piece, but with the added bonus of searingly wonderful violin backing and some of Aaron's better spoken narration. True achingly beautiful misery; the way only My Dying Bride can do it. Close your eyes and wander into the deepest, darkest forests; bare branches, fallen leaves, endless cold and darkness - this isn't your average metal album, but you won't find something like it anywhere else.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good... but not quite the gothic doom meisterwerk I had hoped for!, 9 Nov 2012
While there is no denying that MDB's 'A Map of All Our Failures' is a well crafted and polished work which pushes their previous 'For Lies I Sire' album to new depths of beautiful epic darkness, what's most missing for me from their work in the last 10 years is their ability to genuinely unnerve and even frighten with gothic, almost mediaeval-sounding passages; the intro to 'Your River', the slow middle sections of 'The Songless Bird' and the supremely evil 'Turn Loose the Swans' being great examples of this. In fact the genius of 'Turn Loose the Swans' album is its ability to overwhelm with its crushing darkness whilst seducing the listener with sinister classical pianos, harpsichords, violins and other instruments of mediaeval torture!! Anyone familiar with Swans master-work 'White Light from the Mouth of Infinity' will know what I'm talking about here! This sound actually made a bit of a welcome return on the 'Songs of Darkness' album. So whilst 'A Map...' is a good progression on their more polished and melodic recent sound, it doesn't make you feel like someone just walked over your grave... but hey, not everyone is into that kind of thing!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great album, 5 Nov 2013
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listened for hours and hours really love it and my brother got it signed by the group since one of them works where he does, Tim
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 1 Jun 2013
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This review is from: A Map Of All Our Failures (CD & DVD - LIMITED EDITION) (Audio CD)
This is one of the best MDB albums, and i've been a fan since i saw them on MTVs Headbangers Ball with Vannesa Warwick. I first heard 'The Forever People' on the 'Triple Thrash Treat' and what a band they are. I rushed out and got there 1st album As The Flowers Wither after hearing The Forever People and although that is proberly the fastest song they did on that album and being the first song i ever heard from them it took me a while to get used to them. It was the first time a heard Slowed down death metal (doom). Then i bought 'Turn Loose The Swans' and still doing the slower scarier metal it was amazing and loved it and also on Turn Loose the Swans album Aaron also did some clean vocals. Perfect blend of clean and growling vocals and the haunting sounds of violin too. I think then i really started to love this band.

Like all they albums they are follow the same tradition just getting better and better, and 'A Map Of All Our Failures' is a must have for all MDB fans. This album seems to me to be more along the lines of 'The Dreadful Hours' and 'Songs of Darkness, Words Of Light' which are both amazing albums along with Turn Loose The Swans and The Angel And the Dark River which are there earlier stuff.

My Dying Bride are a band hard to get into and we all know its not for all metal heads out there. But you need to sit a listen fully to there stuff to understand it. They have a lot of tracks that are 8 plus minutes long and they are the best ones, darkness, love, grim and lightness.

Off this album my top tracks are Kneel To Doomsday, The Poorest Waltz, A Tapestry Scorned and Within The Presence Of Absence.
GET THIS ALBUM YOU WILL LOVE IT.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good - But not close to their best albums, 10 May 2013
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This review is from: A Map Of All Our Failures (CD & DVD - LIMITED EDITION) (Audio CD)
A great album that seems to bring the dying bride back for its track, but not close to their bests like Turn to Loose and Angel and Dark River or 34%.

The album has the great dying melody lyrics about death, god, love, hatred, but still misses the emotion and drama of turn to loose the swans and most of all the Cry of Mankind.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Map of All Our Failures, 5 Feb 2013
I will say right off the bat I'm a big MDB fan. When it comes to Doom metal, this band is definitely one of, if not the best. There are albums I've enjoyed more than others, but this band is of consistently high quality. Do a degree you know what your getting with MDB, but when what you get is this good, theres not much room for complaint.

Fan's will love this album, and even newcomers should be tempted. It's a harsher album than For Lies I Sire, sonically and also in terms of production. However all the atmospherics associated with this band are present and correct: violins and keyboards are used to great effect to add atmosphere to the album. As usual Aaron's vocals are more a narration than anything else [a few well used death growls aside] but this really adds depth and despair to MDB sound; his vocals coming across as the tortured laments of a dying man.

Everything you expect to hear from a MDB album is present on this album, but as such the album is no great departure nor a subtle introduction of new elements. Long time MDB fans will still have much to love, and as I said before, when the quality of the musicianship is this good, the fact it is a standard affair doesn't remove from its quality. A very solid album overall.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Dying Bride are one of the UK's finest bands ever !!!, 13 Dec 2012
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My Dying Bride - A Map Of All Our Failures is a masterclass in doom. Whole album is awesome but Abandoned As Christ is mind blowing.
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